From phlogiston to caloric: chemical ontologies [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Foundations of Chemistry 13 (3):201-222 (2011)
The ‘triumph of the anti-phlogistians’ is a familiar story to the historians and philosophers of science who characterize the Chemical Revolution as a broad conceptual shift. The apparent “incommensurability” of the paradigms across the revolutionary divide has caused much anxiety. Chemists could identify phlogiston and oxygen, however, only with different sets of instrumental practices, theoretical schemes, and philosophical commitments. In addition, the substantive counterpart to phlogiston in the new chemistry was not oxygen, but caloric. By focusing on the changing visions of chemical body across the revolutionary divide with a more sensitive probe into the historical actors’ material manipulations and linguistic usage, we can historicize their laboratory realities and philosophical agenda. An archeology of chemical bodies that configures the fragile stability of the material worlds chemists created in succession promises a philosophical horizon that would recognize our hybrid (natural–artificial) environment as an evolving investigative object of science.
|Keywords||Phlogiston Caloric Chemical ontologies Incommensurability Lavoisier Guyton de Morveau|
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References found in this work BETA
Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave (eds.) (1970). Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. Cambridge University Press.
Thomas S. Kuhn (1996/2012). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. University of Chicago Press.
Thomas S. Kuhn (1962). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Vol. The University of Chicago Press.
R. Rorty (1981). Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. Princeton University Press.
Lorraine Daston (2007). Objectivity. Distributed by the MIT Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Martin Kusch (2015). Scientific Pluralism and the Chemical Revolution. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 49:69-79.
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